Designing energy storage solutions is just the beginning for this mechatronics grad
In Grade 10, Emmeline Agassini was already researching which university to attend. She knew she wanted to be an engineer, but what type of engineer was something she had yet to figure out.
“When I heard about mechatronics, and how it combines mechanical, electrical and software engineering, I knew that was the way forward,” she says. “At that time, the only universities in Canada offering a mechatronics degree, rather than a specialization, were SFU and University of Waterloo.”
Born in Mexico and raised in Calgary, Agassini decided to come to B.C. to study at SFU’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering. Over the years she has been an active member of the student body, and was elected president of the Mechatronic Systems Engineering Student Society (MSESS) in 2014. Her work with the MSESS involved organizing student events, guiding policy changes and representing her fellow SFU engineering students at a national level.
“I really enjoyed working with policy, and I hope to continue doing that in the future.”
Agassini also has an entrepreneurial spirit. She is the CEO of BlueHive Technologies, a company she co-founded with fellow mechatronics and business students.
“We’re building safe energy storage solutions that don’t require an electrician to modify the electrical panel in your home,” explains Agassini.
Consider homes that pay for electricity based on a time-of-use pricing model. Having a smart energy storage device would allow users to charge the battery during off-peak hours at a lower rate, and have it ready to use for peak hours.
“With our battery, you simply just plug it in—no installation is required. You will also have the ability to schedule the charging and discharging times.”
The startup was also a part of the 2016/2017 cohort of SFU’s Technology Entrepreneurship (Tech e@SFU) program and has now been selected as a member of the Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection program.
Agassini is graduating with a B.A.Sc. degree this fall, and despite launching a promising new startup, she is eager to continue building her skills and obtain a professional engineer (P.Eng) certification. She is currently doing mechanical design work for a local company specializing in log processing machinery.
“I’m working on hydraulic cylinder design, and I’m really excited to learn more about controls and pneumatics,” she says.
Naturally, those interests mean that she is keeping a close eye on the next application cycle of SFU’s new Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program, which provides state-of-the-art manufacturing training for engineering professionals.
“I just want to keep designing solutions for real world problems.”
Agassini has been selected as a student speaker for her convocation ceremony, which will be held on the morning of October 5.